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How to Eliminate Render-Blocking Resources on WordPress

Table of Contents

Introduction

Website speed is a crucial factor in determining user experience and search engine optimization (SEO). Slow loading times can result in high bounce rates, poor user engagement and lower rankings on search engines. One of the main causes of slow loading times is render-blocking resources, such as CSS and JavaScript files. These resources are necessary for the proper functioning of a website, but if not optimized, can significantly slow down page loading times. In this article, we will explain what render-blocking resources are, why they’re important for website performance, and how to eliminate them on your WordPress site.

In this guide, we will cover how to identify render-blocking resources on your website, the techniques that you can use to reduce or eliminate them, and how to optimize your website for speed. We will also provide code examples, tools, and plugins that can help you optimize your website. By the end of this article, you will have a better understanding of how to improve the performance of your website and provide a better user experience for your visitors.

Understanding Render-Blocking Resources

When it comes to website performance, one of the most important factors to consider is the loading time of your pages. One of the main culprits that can slow down page loading times are render-blocking resources, specifically CSS and JavaScript. In this section, we’ll take a closer look at what these resources are and how they affect website performance.

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CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) is a language used to describe the presentation of a webpage. It’s used to define the layout, colors, font, and other visual elements of a website. JavaScript is a programming language that is used to create interactive elements on a webpage, such as forms, buttons, and modals.

Both CSS and JavaScript are essential for creating a functional and visually appealing website, but they can also slow down the loading time of your pages if not properly optimized. When a browser loads a webpage, it needs to download and process all of the CSS and JavaScript resources before it can fully render the page. This process is called render-blocking.

The longer it takes for a browser to download and process these resources, the longer it will take for the page to load. This can lead to a poor user experience, as visitors may become frustrated with slow loading times and leave your site before it fully loads. Additionally, slow page loading times can also negatively impact your SEO as search engines take page speed into account when ranking sites.

It’s important to note that not all CSS and JavaScript resources are render-blocking. Some resources, such as images and videos, are considered non-blocking and won’t affect page loading times as much. However, in order to optimize your website for speed, it’s important to identify and minimize the number of render-blocking resources on your site.

Identifying Render-Blocking Resources on Your WordPress Site

In order to eliminate render-blocking resources on your WordPress site, you first need to identify which resources are causing the most issues. There are several tools and plugins available to help you with this task.

One popular tool for identifying render-blocking resources is Google PageSpeed Insights. This tool analyzes your website and provides a report on the resources that are causing the most issues. You can then use this information to target specific resources and improve your website’s performance.

Another popular plugin for identifying render-blocking resources is WP Optimize. This plugin analyzes your website and provides a report on the resources that are causing the most issues. It also provides recommendations on how to optimize your website for speed.

It’s also important to note that you can easily identify render-blocking resources by checking the HTML source code of your site, you can use the browser developer tools and check the network tab, you can find all the resources that are loaded on your site and you can check which resources are blocking the loading of the page.

In order to improve the performance of your website, it’s important to identify and eliminate the render-blocking resources that are causing the most issues. By using the tools and plugins mentioned above, you can easily identify which resources are causing the most issues and take steps to optimize your website for speed.

Eliminating Render-Blocking Resources

Once you have identified the render-blocking resources on your website, the next step is to eliminate them. There are several techniques that you can use to reduce or eliminate render-blocking resources on your site.

  1. Defer loading of JavaScript: Deferring the loading of JavaScript files means that they won’t be loaded until after the page has finished loading. This can significantly reduce the time it takes for the page to load. You can use the following code snippet to defer loading of JavaScript files:
<script type="text/javascript">
   function downloadJSAtOnload() {
   var element = document.createElement("script");
   element.src = "defer.js";
   document.body.appendChild(element);
   }
   if (window.addEventListener)
   window.addEventListener("load", downloadJSAtOnload, false);
   else if (window.attachEvent)
   window.attachEvent("onload", downloadJSAtOnload);
   else window.onload = downloadJSAtOnload;
</script>
  1. Inline critical CSS: Inlining critical CSS means that the CSS required to render the above-the-fold content of a page is included directly in the HTML document, rather than in an external file. This can reduce the number of HTTP requests and improve the loading time of the page. You can use the following code snippet to inline critical CSS:
<style>
   /*critical CSS goes here*/
</style>
  1. Asynchronous loading: Asynchronous loading is a technique that allows the browser to load resources in parallel, rather than waiting for one resource to load before loading the next. This can significantly improve the loading time of a page. You can use the following code snippet to load resources asynchronously:
<script async src="script.js"></script>
  1. Minify and combine resources: Minifying and combining resources can also help to reduce the number of HTTP requests and improve the loading time of a page. You can use the following code snippet to minify and combine resources:
<link rel="stylesheet" href="style.css" media="all">
<link rel="stylesheet" href="style2.css" media="all">
  1. Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN): A CDN is a network of servers that are distributed around the world. By using a CDN, you can ensure that your site’s resources are loaded from a server that is closest to the user, which can improve the loading time of your site.
  1. Use a Plugin: There are several plugins available that can help you eliminate render-blocking resources on your WordPress site, such as WP Optimize, W3 Total Cache, and Speed Up. These plugins can help you minify, combine, and defer the loading of resources with just a few clicks. They also provide options to enable browser caching, which helps to further speed up the loading of your site.
  2. Remove unnecessary resources: Look through your website code and remove any resources that you don’t need. For example, you may have a plugin installed that you no longer use. You can remove it and the resources associated with it to free up space.
  3. Optimize images: Optimizing images can also help to reduce the loading time of your site. You can use plugins like WP Smush, EWWW Image Optimizer, and ShortPixel to optimize your images and reduce the size of the files.
  4. Use lazy loading: Lazy loading is a technique that only loads images and other resources when they are needed. This can help to reduce the number of HTTP requests and improve the loading time of a page. You can use the following code snippet to lazy load resources:
<img src="image.jpg" loading="lazy" alt="image">

There are several plugins and tools available that can help you eliminate render-blocking resources on your WordPress site. Some popular options include Autoptimize, and Async JavaScript. These plugins can help you minify, combine and defer the loading of resources with just a few clicks.

By implementing these techniques, you can significantly improve the loading time of your website and provide a better user experience for your visitors.

It’s important to note that eliminating render-blocking resources is not a one-time task, you should regularly check and optimize your website to ensure that it’s running as efficiently as possible. However, by implementing the techniques mentioned above, you can significantly improve the loading time of your website and provide a better user experience for your visitors.

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Minifying and Combining Resources

Minifying and combining resources is a technique that can help to reduce the number of HTTP requests and improve the loading time of a page. Minifying a resource means removing unnecessary characters, such as white spaces and comments, to reduce the size of the file. Combining resources means merging multiple files into one file, which reduces the number of HTTP requests.

  1. Minify CSS and JavaScript files: You can use plugins like Autoptimize to minify your CSS and JavaScript files. These plugins can minify your files automatically and reduce their size.
  2. Combine CSS and JavaScript files: You can use plugins like Autoptimize combine your CSS and JavaScript files. By combining multiple files into one file, you can reduce the number of HTTP requests and improve the loading time of your site.
  3. Use a CSS and JavaScript compressor: You can use tools like CSS Compressor and JavaScript Compressor to minify your files. These tools can compress your files and reduce their size.
  4. Use a code editor: Some code editors, like Sublime Text, have built-in functionality to minify and combine files. You can use these features to minify and combine your files manually.

It’s important to note that minifying and combining resources can cause issues on your website if not done correctly. Be sure to test your website after minifying and combining resources to ensure that everything is working as expected.

By minifying and combining resources, you can reduce the number of HTTP requests and improve the loading time of your site. This will provide a better user experience for your visitors and can improve your SEO.

Implementing Asynchronous Loading:

Asynchronous loading is a technique that allows the browser to load resources in parallel, rather than waiting for one resource to load before loading the next. This can significantly improve the loading time of a page.

To implement asynchronous loading on your WordPress site, you can use the async or defer attributes on your script tags. The async attribute tells the browser to load the script asynchronously, while the defer attribute tells the browser to wait until the page has finished loading before loading the script.

Here’s an example of how to use the async attribute:

<script async src="script.js"></script>

And here’s an example of how to use the defer attribute:

<script defer src="script.js"></script>

It’s important to note that the async and defer attributes have different effects on the loading of your resources. The async attribute will load the resources as soon as they are available, while the defer attribute will wait until the page has finished loading before loading the resources. You should choose which one to use based on the specific needs of your website.

Another way to implement asynchronous loading is by using a plugin like Async JavaScript. It allows you to add an async attribute to all your JavaScript files without modifying the code. This plugin also has an option to move the scripts to the footer of your website, which improves the loading time of your page.

In addition, you can use a technique called Critical CSS, which is the practice of inlining the minimal CSS required to render the above-the-fold content of a page, rather than relying on an external file. This can reduce the number of HTTP requests and improve the loading time of the page.

Implementing asynchronous loading on your website can significantly improve the loading time of your pages, which can lead to a better user experience for your visitors. It’s important to regularly check and optimize your website to ensure that it’s running as efficiently as possible.

Enabling Browser Caching

Browser caching is a technique that allows a browser to store a copy of a website’s resources on a user’s device, so that the next time they visit the site, the resources can be loaded from the device rather than being downloaded again. This can significantly improve the loading time of a website.

There are several ways to enable browser caching on your WordPress site.

  1. Use a caching plugin: There are several caching plugins available for WordPress that can help you enable browser caching on your site. Some popular options include W3 Total Cache, WP Super Cache, and WP Fastest Cache. These plugins can help you enable browser caching with just a few clicks.
  2. Use .htaccess file: You can also enable browser caching on your site by adding code to your .htaccess file. Here’s an example of code that you can use to enable browser caching:
<IfModule mod_expires.c>
ExpiresActive On
ExpiresByType image/jpg "access plus 1 year"
ExpiresByType image/jpeg "access plus 1 year"
ExpiresByType image/gif "access plus 1 year"
ExpiresByType image/png "access plus 1 year"
ExpiresByType text/css "access plus 1 month"
ExpiresByType application/pdf "access plus 1 month"
ExpiresByType text/x-javascript "access plus 1 month"
ExpiresByType application/x-shockwave-flash "access plus 1 month"
ExpiresByType image/x-icon "access plus 1 year"
ExpiresDefault "access plus 2 days"
</IfModule>
  1. Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN): A CDN is a network of servers that are distributed around the world. By using a CDN, you can ensure that your site’s resources are loaded from a server that is closest to the user. This can improve the loading time of your site and also enables browser caching.

By enabling browser caching on your website, you can significantly improve the loading time of your pages, which can lead to a better user experience for your visitors. It’s important to regularly check and optimize your website to ensure that it’s running as efficiently as possible.

Enabling browser caching is one of the most effective ways to improve the loading time of your website. It’s a simple process and with the help of caching plugins, you can easily enable caching on your website. Additionally, you can leverage a Content Delivery Network (CDN) that can also enable browser caching and offer other performance benefits.

Conclusion

Website speed is a crucial factor in determining user experience and search engine optimization (SEO). Render-blocking resources, such as CSS and JavaScript files, can significantly slow down page loading times and negatively impact the performance of your website.

In this article, we discussed the importance of eliminating render-blocking resources on your WordPress site and provided techniques, code examples, and tools to help you improve the performance of your website. We also covered how to implement asynchronous loading, minifying and combining resources, and enabling browser caching.

It’s important to note that optimizing your website for speed is not a one-time task and you should regularly check and optimize your website to ensure that it’s running as efficiently as possible. By eliminating render-blocking resources and implementing the techniques discussed in this article, you can improve the loading time of your website, which leads to a better user experience for your visitors.

Some additional resources and tips for further optimizing your site for speed include:

  • Using a plugin like WP Optimize, W3 Total Cache or Speed Up.
  • Removing unnecessary resources and optimizing images to reduce the loading time of your site.
  • Leveraging a Content Delivery Network (CDN) that can also enable browser caching and offer other performance benefits.

By following these tips, you can improve your website’s performance and provide a better experience for your visitors.

Picture of Katerina Valeria
Katerina Valeria
Hi there! My name is Catherine and I am a professional content creator with a focus on WordPress. I write blog articles for Gloria Themes, sharing my knowledge and expertise on all things related to this popular website platform.

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